Acupuncture and Hamstring Injury

Hamstring injuries affect many individuals engaging in physical activities that entail running like track, football, soccer or tennis among others.  However, hamstring injuries can also happen to walkers and hikers.  Overland Park acupuncture therapy is an effective treatment for many types of hamstring injuries.  No less than Boston Red Sox pitcher Hideki Okajima has undergone sessions of acupuncture for treatment of his hamstring injury.  Hamstring strains can be due to many factors.  For some athletes inadequate warm ups such as stretching exercises can cause hamstring injuries.  Some athletes having muscle imbalances between the quadriceps and hamstring muscles are more susceptible to hamstring injury.  In order to avoid hamstring injuries, the National Football League have now mandated that players have hamstring strength 75% to that of the quadriceps.  The hamstring is more prone to injury in activities where foot speed, abrupt changes of direction or abrupt slowing is required. Athletes already suffering from low back or hip pain are prone to injure the hamstring as well as their bodies try to compensate for those problems.

A tear of the hamstring muscles is traditionally misnamed a “pulled hamstring”.  There are three types and degrees of hamstring problems.  In a grade I injury, the individual suffers from muscle soreness and tenderness at certain sites.  This injury consists of a mild strain with overextended muscle fibers in throbbing pain.  The person may not feel pain during activity but felt upon the end of his activity.  A grade II injury may involve a tearing sensation felt at the back of the thigh and difficulty in bending the knee.  A grade III injury means that there is a tear or injury to the tendon.  Swelling, bruising and a depression may be felt in the area involved.  This type of injury can only be remedied by surgery.  Acupuncture can effectively treat grade I and mild grade II injuries.  Acupuncture mitigates muscle spasm, decreases swelling and repairs flexibility to the muscle tissue.  Acupuncture also enhances blood circulation to the injured tissues to expedite healing.  Severe grade II and grade III injuries are beyond the ability of an acupuncturist.  An experienced orthopedic physician best takes care of these injuries.  However, to ease the pain and swelling of these injuries and to facilitate healing, acupuncture care can also be utilized.

Many athletes who have suffered from hamstring injuries become susceptible to hamstring injury reoccurrence because of scar tissue formation at the injured area, which causes the muscles to become less tensile and elastic.  Acupuncture treatment coupled with fiber massage therapy can help the scar tissues recover its tensile strength and elasticity.  With proper acupuncture treatment under an experienced and qualified professional, hamstring injuries can be treated and reoccurrences of them can be avoided.

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